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Unread 06-25-2010, 07:03 PM   #1
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Some Non-Jews claim G-d changed the Sabbath to Sunday


Some of my ******ian friends believe that G-d changed the Sabbath from Saturday to Sunday. (I strongly disagree.) To support their view, they misinterpret some of the following verses from the Tanakh. Can you please quote or link me to the ancient, orthodox rabbis' views on these 8 questions?

1. In Gen. 2:2, what is the meaning of G-d's rest on the 7th day? Is this rest what later became known as "salvation?"
"2 And on the seventh day G-d finished His work which He had made; and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had made." (Gen. 2:2)
2. In Gen. 2:3, when did G-d bless the 7th day: At creation or in the wilderness? If in the wilderness, is Moses writing a parenthetical prolepsis (future anticipation)?
"3 And G-d blessed the seventh day, and hallowed it; because that in it He rested from all His work which G-d in creating had made." (Gen. 2:3)
3. Did Adam, Noah, and Abraham keep the Sabbath?
This quote sounds more like imagination than history: "Even Adam was permitted to ascend to the highest heaven, to take part in the rejoicing over the Sabbath. By bestowing Sabbath joy upon all beings, not excepting Adam, thus did the Lord dedicate His creation....This was the first Sabbath, and this its celebration in heaven by God and the angels. The angels were informed at the same time that in days to come Israel would hallow the day in similar manner." (The Legends of the Jews by Louis Ginzberg)

Is this quote accurate?: "The children of Noah...were given seven Laws only, the observance of the Sabbath not being among them" (Midrash Deuteronomy Rabah 1:21, Soncino edition, p. 23).
4. Do Nehemiah 9:13-14 and Ezekiel 20:10-12 teach that G-d first gave the Sabbath in the wilderness, not at creation?
"13 Thou camest down also upon mount Sinai, and spokest with them from heaven, and gavest them right ordinances and laws of truth, good statutes and commandments; 14 and madest known unto them Thy holy sabbath, and didst command them commandments, and statutes, and a law, by the hand of Moses Thy servant" (Neh. 9:13-14).

10 So I caused them to go forth out of the land of Egypt, and brought them into the wilderness. 11 And I gave them My statutes, and taught them Mine ordinances, which if a man do, he shall live by them. 12 Moreover also I gave them My sabbaths, to be a sign between Me and them, that they might know that I am HaShem that sanctify them" (Ezek. 20:10-12).
5. Why does Exodus 20:11 correlate creation to Sabbath-keeping: As a motive or model? In other words, do we rest BECAUSE G-d rested or LIKE He rested?
"Indeed six of days he made, YHVH, the heavens and the earth, and the sea, and all of what in them, and he rested on the day the seventh, over thus he blessed, YHVH, day of the sabbath and he made holy him" (Exod. 20:11)
6. Is the Sabbath for Jews alone or also Gentiles?
"When a non-Jew was engaged by contract to do a piece of work for a Jew, the Jew did not need to inquire whether the non-Jew worked on the Sabbath or not, except when the work was to be performed openly and it was known that it was being done for the Jew. Thus, if a non-Jew entered into an agreement with a Jew to build him a house, the Jew had to stipulate in the contract that the non-Jew should do no work on that house on the Sabbath, unless it was to be erected in a place where no Jews passed (ib. vi. 12-15). When a Jew and a non-Jew entered into partnership, the Jew had to stipulate beforehand that the non-Jew was to receive all the profits made on the Sabbath and that the Jew should take all the profits made on some other day. If such a condition was not made, the Jew forfeited his share of the profits made on the Sabbath ('Ab. Zarah 22a). According to a later opinion, when the partnership was of such a nature that both partners worked together every day, <em>the non-Jew might attend to the work on the Sabbath</em> and the Jew might take his share of the aggregate profits ("habla'ah"; R. Nissim on Alfasi, 'Ab. Zarah i. end, s.v. "Umeha," and Shab. xvi., end, s.v. "We-Yisrael"; Shulḥan 'Aruk, Oraḥ Ḥayyim, 245, 1, Isserles' gloss)." (Sabbath Work by Gentile for Jew, The Jewish Encyclopedia)

"And the Creator of all things blessed it, but He did not sanctify all peoples and nations to keep Sabbath thereon, but Israel alone: them alone He permitted to eat and drink and to keep Sabbath thereon on the earth.'' (Book of Jubilees II:31).

"And from the point of view that the Sabbath was established as a token between God and his people (Exod. 31. 13) one is justified in saying that it is not right and proper for a non-Jew to observe that Sabbath; it is the expression of a relation so intimate that the intrusion of a stranger would be resented" (Midrash Exodus Rabba 25).

Is this quote accurate?: "Why does it say, `The Lord hath given you'' (Ex. 16:29)? To you hath he given it [the Sabbath], but not to the heathen. It is in virtue of this that the Sages stated [Sanh. 56b] that if some of the heathen observed the Sabbath, then not only do they not receive any reward [but they are even considered to be transgressing]'' (Midrash Exodus Rabbah 25:11, Soncino ed., p. 314).

Is this quote accurate?: "A non-Jew who observes the Sabbath whilst he is uncircumcised incurs liability for the punishment of death. Why? Because non-Jews were not commanded concerning it.... The Sabbath is a reunion between Israel and God, as it is said, 'It is a sign between Me and the children of Israel' (Ex. 31:17); therefore any non-Jew who, being uncircumcised, thrusts himself between them incurs the penalty of death...The Gentiles have not been commanded to observe the Sabbath'' (Midrash Deuteronomy Rabbah 1:21, Soncino ed., pp. 23-4).

Does the following quote sound biased?: "Exclusive Jewish Institution: Outside the Biblical sources, one finds widespread recognition of the creation origin of the Sabbath in both Jewish and ******ian history. The Jews developed two differing views regarding the origin of the Sabbath. Broadly speaking, the two views can be distinguished linguistically and geographically. Palestinian (Hebrew) Judaism reduced the Sabbath to an exclusive Jewish ordinance linked to the origin of Israel as a nation at the time of Moses. As stated in the Book of Jubilees, "He [God] allowed no other people or peoples to keep the Sabbath on this day, except Israel only; to it alone he granted to eat and drink and keep the Sabbath on it" (2:31). If the patriarchs are sometimes mentioned as keeping the Sabbath, this is regarded as an exception "before it [the Sabbath] was given" to Israel. This view represents not an original tradition but a secondary development which was encouraged by the necessity to preserve a Jewish identity in the face of Hellenistic pressures (especially at the time of Antiochus Epiphanes, 175 B.C.) to abandon Jewish religion. This is indicated by the fact that even in Palestinian literature there are references to the creation origin of the Sabbath. For example, while on the one hand the Book of Jubilees (about 140-100 B.C.) says that God allowed "Israel only" to keep the Sabbath (Jubilees 2:31), on the other hand it holds that God "kept Sabbath on the seventh day and hallowed it for all ages, and appointed it as a sign for all His works" (Jubilees 2:1).
Creation Ordinance for Mankind: In Hellenistic (Greek) Jewish literature the Sabbath is unmistakably viewed as a creation ordinance for all mankind. Philo, for example, not only traces the origin of the Sabbath to creation, but also delights to call it "the birthday of the world." Referring to the creation story, Philo explains: "We are told that the world was made in six days and that on the seventh God ceased from his works and began to contemplate what had been so well created, and therefore he bade those who should live as citizens under this world-order to follow God in this as in other matters." Because the Sabbath exists from creation, Philo emphasizes that it is "the festival not of a single city or country but of the universe, and it alone strictly deserves to be called public, as belonging to all people."
Also my ******ian friends believe that G-d made the first covenant with Adam, not Noah. (I strongly disagree.)

7. When Did G-d make the first covenant: With Adam in Gen. 2:16-17, or with Noah?
"And he charged, YHVH Elokim, on the man to say; "From every of tree of the garden to eat you eat, but from tree of the knowledge of good and evil not you eat from him, for in day to eat you from him, to die you will die" (Gen. 2:16-17).
8. Does Hosea 6:7 prove that G-d made a covenant with Adam? Where does the word "there" refer to?
"But they like men have transgressed the covenant; there have they dealt treacherously against Me" (A Hebrew - English Bible, Mechon Mamre).

"But they, like Adam, transgressed the covenant; there they betrayed Me" (The Complete Jewish Bible)

"But they like men have transgressed the covenant; there have they dealt treacherously against Me" (1917 Jewish Publicataion Society English translation of the Tanach)
I appreciate any help you can give me to understand the official, orthodox rabbis views. Thank you very much!


Last edited by Greg; 07-06-2010 at 08:42 PM. Reason: Wherever possible, please use "Elokim" as a stand in for the same name with an H so as to avoid printing Hashem's name.
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Unread 06-27-2010, 01:36 AM   #2
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1. Salvation is a Kristian concept with no connection to Orthodox Judaism.

2. He blessed it at creation, but then commanded the Jewish people to rest on it in the wilderness.

3. I believe they did, but they were an exception.

4. See 2. above.

5. Both.

6. Jews alone, although non-Jews may reflect upon the meaning of Shabbos as it relates to them without observing it as Jews are commanded to do. The rabbinic sources (Talmud, Midrash) you quote seem accurate. Jubilees is not a book that Orthodox Jews accept as divinely inspired. And obviously Philo is not a rabbinic source. Yes, G-d made the first covenant with Adam, and then continued it with Noah--your friends are right in this regard.

7. That precise verse is the one upon which the Talmud bases G-d's covenant with Adam.

8. The rabbinic commentators explain that G-d is saying that just as Adam was expelled from Gan Eden because he disobeyed G-d's Law for him, so were the Jewish people to be expelled from "there"--the Land of Israel--because they disobeyed G-d's Law for them.
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Unread 06-27-2010, 05:10 PM   #3
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Sabbath Changed to Sunday?

Hi noahidelaws,

Thank you for taking the time to respond. Please remember that I'm looking for quotes and links from official rabbinical sources. I'd really appreciate any links you can provide.

Also just so that I can understand your perspective, are you a Gentile or Jew?
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Unread 06-27-2010, 08:44 PM   #4
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Non-Jews are not authorized or even permitted to observe Shabbat. It follows that gentile designations of the "day of rest" is not relevant to Judaism.
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Unread 06-27-2010, 08:48 PM   #5
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Sabbath Changed to Sunday?

Hi DW Duke,

Do you have any rabbinical quotes or links?
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Unread 07-01-2010, 03:18 AM   #6
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I know my post is rather long, and would require some time to answer. So if you know answer(s) to only 1 or 2 questions, please share.
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Unread 07-03-2010, 07:15 PM   #7
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******ians do what they want, and Muslims also went from Shabbes to Friday and what? As it has been said it is not relevent from a Jewish point of view. And G-d is not a man to change. He is not subject to changes (you can read Numbers 23:19 among many other verses: G-d is not a man, that He should lie; neither the son of man, that He should change His mind: when He hath said, will He not do it? or when He hath spoken, will He not make it good?). If He told us to observe the Shabbat (that is from Friday night to Satursday night) forever in all our generations, forever Shabbat will be from Friday night to Satursday night. If ******ians (and not G-d) changed that, this is their problem not ours. This is a non-problem and nothing to do with Judaism.
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Unread 07-06-2010, 08:46 PM   #8
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I've changed the title of this thread to help clarify it:
"Some ******ians Think Adam, Noah, Abraham, and the Gentiles Kept the Sabbath"

So please share any official rabbi quotes and links about these 2 questions:

1. Was Sabbath keeping from creation or the wilderness?
2. Was Sabbath keeping intended for the Jews alone or also Gentiles?
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Unread 09-24-2010, 11:36 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Greg View Post
Hi DW Duke,

Do you have any rabbinical quotes or links?
See Rambam, Laws of Kings and Their Wars 8 and 9.
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Unread 10-29-2010, 07:14 AM   #10
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imo they stumble when they read this: "And upon the first [day] of the week, when the disciples came together..." (from Acts 20).

The context is an obvious Havdallah setting, but most xians have never heard of such a thing so they paint their churchy world on it and assume these talmudim are meeting after sunrise on Sunday morning, rather than realizing this is simply after sunset Sat. night... sooo, again imo, whoever wrote the book originally wasn't meeting on Sunday morning, they were simply getting together post-Shabbis according to normal custom.

Then along came separation & confusion till we have people saying "G-d changed the Sabbath day..." (G-d forbid!)
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